Laura Benanti has been sharing her sweet soprano lilts with the world since the tender age of eighteen. The rising star caught her first big break on the Great White Way with the lead in The Sound of Music. Since then, the songstress has taken both Broadway and the small screen by storm and never looked back. She won a Tony for her portrayal of Gypsy Rose Lee opposite Patti LuPone and has also appeared on the Big Screen.
She recently starred in I Am Harvey Milk with the Gay Men’s Chorus, and on September 28, Ms. Benanti graces the George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus stage for The Eight Arts By George Benefit. Baltimore OUTLoud was very excited to grab a few moments with Laura as she prepares for the event as well as the pending release of her debut album, In Constant Search of the Right Kind of Attention.
We had actually supposed to conduct the interview a week prior, but ran into a communication issue. The first thing that Laura did was apologize profusely, but she had a great excuse. Read on...
Tegan and Sara, the duo consisting of openly gay, Canadian twin sisters Tegan Quin and Sara Quin, and their band, have been evolving from singer/songwriter acoustics to fuller arrangements drawing on a variety of influences, particularly those of an electronic nature. Their latest disc, Heartthrob (WB/Vapor), is the culmination of those efforts. Heartthrob pulses with a set of irresistible songs, incorporating trademarks of their style, such as infectious melodies, vocal interplay and harmonies and a distinctive use of lyric repetition. The songs “Closer” and “Drove Me Wild,” are full-fledged club anthems, placing Tegan and Sara firmly in dance diva territory. I had the pleasure of speaking with Sara shortly after the release of the disc.
There doesn’t seem to be anything that John Waters, America’s premier queer Renaissance man, can’t do. He’s a filmmaker, an author, a journalist, a visual artist, an obscure music aficionado and monologist. He practically invented (and later perfected) the indie film genre with classic cinematic works including Pink Flamingos, Polyester,and Hairspray(which was later adapted as a musical for both the stage and screen). A raconteur of the highest order, Waters has been touring his one-man show This Filthy Worldaround this filthy world for several years, revising and refining with each performance. I had the honor of speaking with John in May 2013.
Spencer Day, who came out as gay a few years ago, is that rare combination of crooning singer/songwriter. On his new disc The Mystery of You (Concord), Day has crafted a powerful and accessible song cycle about love and loss. Cooly crooned tunes such as the title cut, “Soul On Fire” and “Shadow Man” wouldn’t sound out of place on the Mad Men soundtrack. But Day’s sensitive singer/songwriter side dawns brightly on “Love And War,” “I Don’t Want To Know” and “I’m Going Home.” I spoke with Day, shortly before the release of the album.
Queer duo Matmos (Drew Daniel and Martin Schmidt) has been at the forefront of the electronic music scene since the mid-1990s. But it was their groundbreaking 2001 release A Chance to Cut is a Chance to Curethat earned them their elevated profile. Incorporating the sounds of surgery into their sonic landscape, Matmos offered a cure for the occasional monotony of electro. In a way, they return to the body, the mind this time, with their latest disc The Marriage of True Minds(Thrill Jockey). A thought-provoking concept recording that utilizes telepathic experimentation, it’s a logical addition to the Matmos canon. had the pleasure of speaking with Drew Daniel of Matmos at the time of the release of the disc.
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